Del Amo Fashion Center

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Del Amo Fashion Center
Location Torrance, California
Opening date 1961/1971
Developer Guilford Glazer
Management Simon Property Group
Owner JPMorgan Fleming Funds (50%),
Simon Property Group (25%),
& Farallon Cap. Mgt. (25%)
No. of stores and services 200+ [1]
No. of anchor tenants 7
Total retail floor area 2,269,000 sq ft (210,800 m2)
No. of floors 3
Parking 12,000
Website www.delamofashioncenter.com

Del Amo Fashion Center is a two-level regional shopping mall in Torrance, California, USA. It is currently managed and co-owned by Simon Property Group.

With a gross leasable area (GLA) of 2.6 million ft², it is one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. The mall features a food court, seven anchor stores, including two Macy's locations, JCPenney & Sears, more than 200 retailers, multiple full-service restaurants, a fitness center and an AMC Theatres multiplex.

History[edit]

Del Amo Fashion Center has evolved from an amalgamation of several developments on the eastern side of the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and Carson Street in Torrance, California by Guilford Glazer (#384 on Forbes Richest 400).[1] From 1981 to 1992 it was the largest shopping mall in the US, reaching 3 million ft² in size at its largest. It was eclipsed as the largest with the opening of Mall of America on August 11, 1992.

In 1959 The Broadway opened the first store at what was to be known as Del Amo Mall. The actual mall itself, as well as J.C. Penney and Sears, opened in 1961 at the southeast corner of Carson Street and Hawthorne Boulevard. In 1966, Bullock's opened at a small open-air shopping center it had developed across Carson Street called Fashion Square (Bullock's developed several similarly named Fashion Squares, including ones in Sherman Oaks, La Habra and Santa Ana). I. Magnin, an affiliate of Bullock's opened a store in 1967 at Fashion Square, before the center was acquired in 1971 by Guilford Glazer and a major redevelopment begun.

In 1971, Del Amo Fashion Square, as the center on the north side of Carson Street was now called, reopened as a second mall and included additional anchors Montgomery Ward and Ohrbach's as well as an expanded I. Magnin. Glazer acquired neighboring Del Amo Mall in 1978. In November 1981 [2] the two formerly separate centers were officially merged to form Del Amo Fashion Center with the opening of a mall concourse over Carson Street that linked the former Fashion Square to a new J. W. Robinson's built at the northern end of the former Del Amo Mall that same year. The existing infrastructure was also renovated at this time and included a food court (the "International Food Court") and a then-state-of-the-art computerized help system. Del Amo became the largest indoor shopping center in the world.

The center continued to evolve over the years as Ohrbach's closed in 1987 and became Swedish style furniture retailer STØR. When STØR went out of business in the early nineties, the property was used as a clearance center for STØR merchandise before being subdivided into Marshall's and TJ Maxx. I. Magnin followed in 1989 with part of their store eventually occupied by Old Navy, while Burlington Coat Factory opened in the basement of the former Del Amo Mall. J. W. Robinson's became Robinsons-May in 1993, while in 1996 with Bullock's and The Broadway's merger into Macy's, the former Bullock's became Macy's Apparel store and two floors of the original The Broadway were subdivided as a new Macy's Home & Furniture store. Faced with a change in consumer shopping patterns, the consolidation of the department store industry, the existence of too many malls fragmenting the greater Los Angeles retail marketplace, lack of highway access and competition from the neighboring Nordstrom-anchored South Bay Galleria that opened in 1985, Del Amo began to suffer. Montgomery Ward dealt another blow when it closed following the chain's bankruptcy. This resulted in the closure of an entire wing of the mall.

In 2003, The Mills Corporation acquired Del Amo Fashion Center from the Guilford Glazer Family for $420 million (USD).[3] Subsequently Mills sold a half-interest in the property to institutional investor funds managed by JPMorgan Fleming,[4] before initiating a $160 million redevelopment including demolition and redevelopment the former northeast wing where Montgomery Ward had been located, the renovation of 670,000 ft² (62,000 m²) of existing space and the addition of another 100,000 ft² (9,300 m²). Robinsons-May converted to a second full-line Macy's on September 9, 2006.

The new open-air lifestyle center opened on September 14, 2006, bringing new specialty stores, dining, entertainment, a Lucky Strike Lanes (now occupied by Old Navy), and an AMC Theatres 18-screen multiplex to the mall. Crate & Barrel opened a home furnishings store along the mall perimeter in spring 2007, replacing an International House of Pancakes restaurant and a Sushi Boy store, which were both torn down.

In 2007, The Mills Corporation was jointly acquired by Simon Property Group and Farallon Capital Management. Simon assumed management of Del Amo Fashion Center at this time. In April 2008, the mall's website is under the Simon.com format along with sister Simon/Mills malls, like Ontario Mills, Hilltop Mall, the Block at Orange and Great Mall.

On March 18, 2010, Simon Properties announced that they would embark on a $200M multiyear remodel on the mall.[5] Two years later, on February 24, 2012, it is announced that plans for the Del Amo Mall upgrade have been announced. However, they focused on the northern side, which is north of Carson. They also have preliminary plans for the southern side, which will be discussed in the near future.[6] In the first quarter of 2013, Del Amo is expected to undergo renovation on the North side of the mall. Work on this side is expected to be completed by mid-late 2014.[7]

In July 2013, Simon Properties announced a 21-month plan to demolish and rebuild the north end of the Fashion Center. The section crossing over Carson Street will be converted to a new Food Court in time for the Fall 2013 holiday shopping season; the rest of the work will begin in February 2014 and extend through 2015. Around the same time, Nordstrom announced that they are going to relocate [to Del Amo] from the South Bay Galleria, nearly after 30 years of service at its Redondo location. A medical building on the north end of the property will be demolished, and the existing one-story northern section will be razed and rebuilt as a two-story wing, with a brighter and more open aesthetic to bring in more natural light. No plans have been announced for renovating the southern wing of the mall, though it will likely be renamed "Market Square" and be redecorated to be aesthetically closer to the new design.

Recently, plans have been made [between Del Amo and Simon Property Group] to consolidate the mall's three Macy's stores into two. While the Women's store remains in its place, Simon and Macy's swap properties, with Del Amo getting the current furniture store (formerly The Broadway), and Macy's getting the Robinsons-May store that they previously owned. Once the consolidation is complete, the current furniture store will be closed.

Meanwhile, Fasha Farshad Mahjoor, of Phenomenex, Inc., purchased the 15-acre parcel adjacent to the mall. The parcel was once owned by SunCal, and it housed a Montgomery Ward (now a parking lot for the Lifestyle Center), the Wards Auto Center (now vacant) and a Black Angus restaurant.[8]

In Film[edit]

The Del Amo was a central location and plot element of the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown. In addition the mall was prominently featured in the Martha Coolidge film Valley Girl, and also used as the mall backdrop for Bad Santa (2003).

Anchors & Major Tenants[edit]

A typical Del Amo sign

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°49′41″N 118°20′59″W / 33.828072°N 118.349796°W / 33.828072; -118.349796